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If the Europeans are to retain the Ryder Cup, they'll need
Jesper Parnevik, the lanky Swede with the upturned visor and
swollen bank account. As of last week, however, Parnevik showed
no inclination to add a few European tour events to his 1997
schedule so he can become a card-carrying member of that
circuit, which he must do to guarantee himself a spot on
Europe's team at Valderrama, Spain, in September.

Instead, Parnevik seems bent on beating the Americans
single-handedly. In five PGA Tour starts this year, Parnevik has
two seconds, a third, a fifth and one missed cut, which came
last week in Hawaii. He's second on the U.S. money list, and
from atop his tall pile of cash he can barely hear the worried
murmurs echoing across the Atlantic.

The head worrier is European Ryder Cup captain Seve Ballesteros.
He might have to spend his two captain's picks on Parnevik and
England's Nick Faldo, who, like Parnevik, no longer plays
regularly in Europe. Ballesteros would rather keep the picks in
reserve for players such as Bernhard Langer, Jose Maria Olazabal
or even himself.

With Seve's blessing, the European tour changed its rules in
January to make it easier to become a member. A player still has
to play in 11 events, but now the three U.S. majors count toward
the total, effectively bringing the number down to eight. By
adding just two European events to the six that he entered in
'96, Parnevik could regain his European card--and validate Ryder
Cup points he earns along the way. "It's a good rule," Parnevik
says. "If they'd offered this last year, I would have accepted."

This year, though, he plans to play in only four European
events, counting the British Open. Before he'll change his mind,
he wants a promise from tour executive director Ken Schofield
that his Trophee Lancome victory last September in Paris will
count toward his point total. "Also, the start I've had over
here changes things," Parnevik coyly adds. "I now have a chance
for a high finish on the U.S. money list." That would guarantee
him entry into the majors and other important American

Some think Parnevik holds a grudge for being left off the '95
team. If so, a few more weeks of good play in the U.S. will
cement his position as Europe's best current player, providing
sweet revenge. Schofield may want to brush up on the Swedish
word for please.


ABC's decision to pull the plug after two holes of Sunday's
sudden-death playoff between Paul Stankowski, Jim Furyk and Mike
Reid in the Hawaiian Open so that it could show America's
Funniest Home Videos was understandable--from a business
perspective. The average golf telecast draws flies compared with
the millions who watch Home Videos. But numbers and dollar signs
will never placate golf fans, who are tired of investing hours
in a tournament only to be zapped at the moment of truth. We
wonder what ABC would have done if the playoff had been between
Greg Norman and Tiger Woods.


"It used to be the hardest course I'd ever played," Ray Floyd
said recently. Oakmont, Ray? Oakland Hills? No, Floyd was
speaking of the Blue Monster at Doral, in Miami, the site of the
Doral-Ryder Open, on March 6-9. Since the tournament began in
1962 it has been a premier Tour event, won by Hall of Famers
like Billy Casper that first year, Greg Norman last year, and
Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Floyd himself three times.

Trouble is, over time the Monster had become a mouse. Casper's
winning score in '62 was 283; Norman's last year was 269. And
the 435-yard par-4 18th, long ranked as the Tour's toughest
finishing, had slipped to 13th. Enter KSL Recreation Corp.,
Doral's owner. KSL hired Floyd and architect Ted McAnlis to do a
redesign. The most noticeable work involved bunkers. Eighteen
new ones were added, most of them along fairways, and several
old ones were enlarged. Floyd and McAnlis installed a gaping
bunker on the right side of the 18th fairway and a huge waste
area fronting the lake on the left. They also added 186 yards to
the original design, stretching the course to 7,125 yards,
replaced the thin ryegrass in the rough with a gnarly strain of
Bermuda, and shaved the banks around most of the water hazards
and greens. In short, bye-bye, birdies.

Floyd can hardly suppress a smile as he awaits the tournament.
"The course had become totally tame," he says. "We put the teeth
back in the Monster."


For years touring pros have complained about slow play. This
season the PGA Tour's policy board changed the rules so that
instead of getting off with a warning, a player is fined $1,000
the first time he is timed taking more than 40 seconds to hit a
shot. As in the past, a second infraction costs $1,000, and a
third delay brings a one-stroke penalty. Last week in Hawaii six
players got $1,000 levies. Among them was Tom Lehman, one of
four players on the policy board. He got nailed for
procrastinating over his approach on the par-4 8th hole in the
third round. "When we implemented this, we talked with officials
and agreed that they should show judgment," says Lehman. "The
new policy stinks with a capital S."


When Terry-Jo Myers overcame a five-shot deficit to beat Annika
Sorenstam in the Los Angeles Women's Championship on Sunday, her
win represented a victory over her own body. For 13 years Myers,
34, has suffered from interstitial cystitis, a painful bladder
disease that forced her to urinate up to 100 times a day. The
agony almost drove her to suicide, but thanks to a drug called
Elmiron, Myers has been pain-free and on a normal bathroom
schedule for the past 18 months.

Myers's only other LPGA win was in the 1988 Mayflower Classic in
Indianapolis. "Back then I was in a lot of pain," said Myers
during an emotional press conference on Sunday night. "It rained
during the final round, which gave me a chance to use the rest
rooms. Today was so sweet because I felt the pressure of the
tournament instead of pain in my body, and I loved it."

The $97,500 she earned in L.A. was more than she had made in any
of her previous 11 years on tour, all of which were disrupted by
the disease. The disorder often forced her to withdraw in the
middle of events and go to a hospital to have urine removed from
her bladder. "I worried over any situation that took me away
from a bathroom," Myers says. "I'd play a couple of holes, then
run to the bathroom. I didn't miss a portable toilet in 12 years."


While organizers of last week's Australian Masters at
Huntingdale Golf Club in Melbourne reportedly paid Tiger Woods
$300,000 just to show up, Peter Lonard--and his Cinderella
story--came free. Lonard, the 27-year-old Australian who won the
tournament on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff with
Peter O'Malley, had been knocked flat for three years by Ross
River fever, a rare disease he contracted from a mosquito bite
in 1992. Lonard spent almost two years in bed, at one point
gaining nearly 80 pounds, until the disease gradually
dissipated. Last fall he earned his card on the Australasian
tour, which runs from October through February. Before Sunday's
win he had seven top-10 finishes, and now he leads the tour's
money list with $458,547. "The mosquito has been forgiven," says
Lonard, who finished seven shots ahead of Woods, who tied for


If Jose Maria Olazabal follows through on plans to play in the
March 13-16 Portuguese Open in Lisbon, he'll be making his first
start since the Trophee Lancome in September 1995.... Senior
tour player John Schroeder donated $2 million to the athletic
department at Michigan, his alma mater.... Should Phil Mickelson
win this week's Nortel Open in Tucson he'll become the first
player to win the same Tour event three years in a row since Tom
Watson in the 1978-80 Byron Nelson Classics.... Nick Price's
victory in last week's Dimension Data Pro-Am in Sun City, South
Africa, was his first of any kind in 14 months. Price's last
Tour win came in the '94 Canadian Open.... Brad Faxon was so
upset that his Tour-leading streak of making 25 consecutive cuts
ended in Hawaii that he climbed 35 flights of stairs to his room
in the Aston Waikiki Beach Tower hotel. "I didn't deserve to
take the elevator," he said.... Former PGA and U.S. Open
champion David Graham's win in last week's GTE Classic was his
first on the Senior tour.

COLOR PHOTO: J.D. CUBAN It will take more than last month's rules change to lure Parnevik back to Europe. [People watching Jesper Parnevik play golf]

COLOR PHOTO: BEN VAN HOOK The 435-yard par-4 18th had lost some of the stuff that made it a legend in the '60s. [Plaque for Doral 18th hole, reading in part 'Rated hardest hole on PGA Tour']

COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK Myers's disorder was so severe she considered suicide. [Terry-Jo Myers playing golf]



Events in which Paul Stankowski is the reigning champion: Nike
Louisiana Classic, BellSouth Classic, Kapalua International,
Casio World Open and Hawaiian Open.